Descriptions of Online Learning Experiences in Female‐Authored Social Media

St John's University, Manhattan Campus, New York, USA
Debbie Ritter-Williams
Gwendolyn Dooley
Armando Paladino
Presentation Date: 
Thursday, March 1, 2018
Event or Conference: 
Fourteenth International Conference on Technology, Knowledge & Society
Presentation Type: 
Paper Presentation
Boyer's Domain: 
Presentation Location: 
St. John's University Manhattan Campus
101 Astor Pl
New York, NY 10003
United States
The proliferation of online education has prompted multiple studies about how virtual learning occurs and how subgroups of students are advantaged and disadvantaged in online learning situations. In parallel with studies about online education, researchers have studied how people communicate online using social media. Social learning theory may explain how students learn online; it may also explain the influence social media has on those who read it. Females may base their decision about whether or not to access online learning on what they read in social media. Because no research can be found that has reported how females describe online learning using social media, leaders in higher education do not know how female student consumers of social media are encouraged or dissuaded from enrolling in virtual classes. Unlike other researcher provoked data such as interview transcripts and survey responses, social media content constitutes a novel form of data that has not been evoked or biased by researcher intervention. Using qualitative content analysis techniques of social media data, the purpose of this study is to respond to the primary research question: What descriptions of online learning experiences are offered by female students via social media? A variety of blogs, YouTube videos, and Facebook sites will be used as data. All descriptions will be converted to written transcripts and subjected to thematic analysis to discern central themes